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Zvonimir Soldo
Soldo oproštaljka.jpg
Zvonimir Soldo at his Bundesliga farewell match
Personal information
Full name Zvonimir Soldo
Date of birth November 2, 1967 (1967-11-02) (age 42)
Place of birth    Zagreb, SFR Yugoslavia
Height 1.89 m
Playing position Defender, midfielder (retired)
Youth career
NK Inter Zaprešić
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1987–1990
1990–1991
1991–1994
1994–1996
1996–2006
Total
NK Dinamo Zagreb
NK Zadar
NK Inter Zaprešić
NK Croatia Zagreb
VfB Stuttgart
036 0(0) 0
026 0(2)
055 0(2)
051 0(3)
301 (15)
469 (22)   
National team2
1994–2002 Croatia 061 0(3)
Teams managed
2008–2009
2009–
Dinamo Zagreb
1. FC Köln

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of June 2006.
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of June 2006.
* Appearances (Goals)

Zvonimir Soldo (born November 2, 1967) is a retired Croatian football player who is now a manager, currently with German Bundesliga side 1. FC Köln. During his playing career, he mostly played in defensive roles, as sweeper or centre back, but occasionally also in defensive midfield.

Contents

Early career

After studying law for six semesters at the University of Zagreb, Soldo's parents convinced him to pursue a career as professional football player.

Soldo's professional career began with NK Dinamo Zagreb which he left for NK Zadar after two years. 1991 through 1994, he played for NK Inter Zaprešić before returning to his former club NK Dinamo Zagreb.

Runner-up in both Croatian league and cup in his first season back at Zagreb, the next campaign saw Soldo's side complete a domestic double in 1995/96. After achieving all he could in domestic football, Soldo headed for German side VfB Stuttgart.

Stuttgart years

Soldo made his Bundesliga debut on August 17, 1996 against FC Schalke 04. This was the beginning of his time in Stuttgart which would last for ten years and during which he would lead the VfB Stuttgart on the pitch as captain nearly 200 times.

During this period, Zvonimir Soldo played another 300 times in the Bundesliga and 47 times in European competitions, won the German cup in 1997 and reached the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1998, as well as finished as runner-up in the 2002/03 campaign.

After being an exemplary sportsman and role model for younger players all these years, Soldo played his last Bundesliga match for Stuttgart on May 6, 2006.

In recognition of his merits, Soldo received the Staufer medal, a decoration awarded by the state of Baden-Württemberg.

International career

Soldo was also a long-time member of the Croatian national team, with notable appearances in the Euro 96, 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was capped a total of 61 times, scoring three goals, and was an important member of the squad that finished third in the 1998 World Cup.

After the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Soldo retired from international football.

Honours

Coaching career

On January 14, 2008 Zvonimir was appointed as a new manager of Dinamo Zagreb after Branko Ivanković's resignation. Prior to that he was managing Dinamo's youth team. He became Prva HNL Champion and Croatian Cup Winner. He offered his resignation in the night after the cup final to make space to old/new manager Branko Ivanković.

Since June 2009, Soldo is the new manager of German 1. Bundesliga club, 1. FC Köln (Cologne) after the club's former coach Christoph Daum surprisingly left to sign for Fenerbahce.

References

External links

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